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What is the Customer Charge on the BRMEMC electric bill?
  • All BRMEMC electric rates, as defined in our currently effective rate schedules as approved by TVA, are made up of primarily two components; the fixed customer charge and the energy charge. The fixed customer charge is one way for us to recover our fixed costs such as; the cost of constructing our electric infrastructure, installing meters, reading the meters each month, billing the members, collecting payments each month, and paying taxes, insurance, etc. The customer charge helps BRMEMC keep the cost of constructing infrastructure and operating our business fair for all members.
  • The second component of the rate is the energy charge (kilowatt-hour charge), which can be looked at as a variable cost recovery charge. Members who use larger amounts of energy pay for this variable cost through the energy charge portion of the rate.
  • BRMEMC has different customer charge amounts assigned to different classes of members. For example, all residential members pay the same customer charge, while others in the commercial or industrial classes pay different amounts based on their individual class of service. Customer charges are determined through a “cost of service” study. BRMEMC adjusts its customer charge rates as needed based on information provided from that study which evaluates the fixed-cost expense required to serve each meter by class. Rates are authorized and detailed in TVA’s RS and GSA rate schedules. BRMEMC simply follows the approved rate design and charges each metered account the appropriate customer charge, based on the type of service.
  • All electric utilities charge a fixed monthly charge although they may have a different name for this charge (i.e. Fixed Service Charge, Monthly Facilities Charge, etc.) and many other electric utilities don’t itemize this charge on the monthly bill.
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  • NRECA's Straight Talk Team - What is the Customer Charge?
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  • Directors receive a monthly payment of $450.00 per diem as compensation for attendance at all regular meetings of the Board.
  • $200 per diem for attending workshops, training programs, conferences, etc.
  • Travel allowance at the current IRS rate.
  • Board members are not provided health insurance benefits.
  • Board members are not provided retirement benefits.
  • A nominating committee of at least (4) Board Members are appointed to search for candidates to recommend to the full Board for approval. The person elected by a majority vote of the full Board will fill the unexpired term of the vacated director.
  • Per BRMEMC By-laws Section 4.60 - The nominating committee has complete authority to nominate “as many nominees for any director to be elected from or with respect to any Directorate District as it deems desirable.”
  • To protect the privacy of our employees we do not disclose the compensation for our employees other than those in excess of $100,000 which are required by the IRS to be disclosed annually on the IRS Form 990.
  • BRMEMC, and other Cooperatives supplied by TVA, enjoy some of the lowest electric rates in the country. One of the reasons for this is the practice of reinvestment of all margins, or excess revenues, back into the electric system. This helps to minimize the need for borrowing of additional funds for capital expansion. Members who are accustomed to being served by non-TVA cooperatives question our practice of not returning margins to our membership. Oftentimes, these members have grown used to these payments, commonly referred to as “patronage capital” or “capital credits”. At some electric cooperatives across the nation capital credits may be paid back over time to the members or reinvested into the electric system to lower borrowing needs. However, because BRMEMC falls under the authority of the TVA Act of 1933 as well as TVA’s Wholesale Power Contract requirements, BRMEMC and other TVA Cooperatives are restricted in what they can do with excess revenue. Our contract with TVA requires BRMEMC to reinvest any and all margins back into our electric distribution system. In other words, the only way we can actually return margins back to our membership is in the form of reduced electric rates. TVA’s reasoning for this is simple – it is cheaper for the Cooperative to use internal funds than to borrow money for electric additions. This philosophy continually applies downward pressure to our electric rates, and minimizes the need to frequently borrow funds from various lenders, which obviously costs money. This concept has worked very well as BRMEMC’s residential rates remain lower than the national average.
  • TVA’s average retail rate is currently 35th lowest of the top 100 U.S. Utilities
  • TVA rate comparison chart
  • Initially the plan was to add on and remodel the old facilities, however we ran into several obstacles. We did not have enough real estate at the old location. We estimated that we needed 40-50 acres and we only had 14 acres total at the old location. In addition, the property at the old location was divided by two roads (Brasstown Creek Road and Sycamore Street). This was a safety concern with our large, heavy trucks merging with residential traffic and crossing the streets back and forth. We had worked with the Georgia D.O.T. on a plan for the relocation of part of Brasstown Creek Road around the perimeter of the old property, but it was going to cost over $1,000,000 just to relocate the road. We would have also had to build a multi-level parking deck due to the limited amount of property which was also estimated to cost well over 1 million dollars. Due to the limited space we would also have had to construct a multi-story building, again increasing the cost as opposed to a single level building.
  • The Administration building and the Engineering & Operations building are heated and cooled with a highly efficient geothermal HVAC system. The buildings were also designed with a daylight harvesting design that utilizes more natural light and allows the interior lighting to dim during the day cutting down on the cost to light the interior spaces. We also installed a rain-water collection tank that captures all of the rain water off of the roof of the Warehouse building. This rain water is used to flush toilets and for irrigation. Energy efficient LED lighting supplies all of the outdoor areas, canopy and sidewalk lighting needs. The outdoor lighting is directed downward, not up or out which helps to limit the amount of light pollution.
  • Last year BRMEMC celebrated our 75th anniversary and we expect to operate out of the new Headquarters facilities for at least the next 75 years.
  • In 2003 our power supplier, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), started a pilot program call Generation Partners, which promotes solar energy. The program has gone through several changes over the years and is presently called Green Power Providers. Through this program, TVA supports local businesses and homeowners that install small scale renewable generation sources. Members frequently ask why BRMEMC is building solar arrays throughout our service area. The fact is, we are not. We don’t own them, build them or profit from them. Our involvement is to administer the program and to make sure the renewable generation systems are safely integrated with our electric distribution system. Our members who choose to install these renewable generation systems are responsible for the cost associated with the construction and maintenance of the renewable generation systems.